22 Oct 2008

Cipriani, Abendanon and Lipman added to England squad

7:43 am on 22 October 2008

Danny Cipriani, Nick Abendanon and Michael Lipman have been added to England's 32-man elite squad under the injury replacement rule.

Under the rules of the new agreement between the RFU and England's clubs, manager Martin Johnson named his 32-man squad for the four November internationals at the start of the season and was allowed to make changes only in case of injury.

First five-eighth Cipriani wasn't initially included as it was thought he wouldn't have recovered from his broken ankle but the Wasps man has returned to action earlier than expected and comes in for Jonny Wilkinson, who has a dislocated knee cap.

Fullback Abendanon has been in top form for Bath and replaces Leicester's Tom Varndell, while flanker Lipman comes in for Lewis Moody in another Bath-Leicester swap.

Abendanon's replacement of Varndell might be seen as bending the rules as the latter has been left out of the Leicester team in recent weeks on form, rather than fitness.

England also play Australia, world champions South Africa and New Zealand in that order on successive Saturdays at Twickenham next month.